The oldest son of Italian fashion designer Ottavio Missoni was among six people traveling in a small plane that went missing off the Venezuelan archipelago of Los Roques, Italy's Foreign Ministry confirmed.

Four Italians - Vittorio Missoni; his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni; and two of their friends - were on board the plane, as well as the pilot and co-pilot, the ministry, which is in contact with authorities in Caracas, said.

Vittorio, 58, is the oldest son of Ottavio Missoni, founder of a high-end fashion house and a luxury hotel chain bearing the family name.

Italian media described Vittorio, the fashion house's marketing director, as the Missoni brand's global ambassador.

The missing twin-engine plane took off Friday from the airport on Los Roques en route to Simon Bolivar International Airport, which serves Caracas. Venezuelan authorities declared the plane missing and launched a search-and-rescue effort involving several boats and two planes.

The search was postponed at nighfall but resumed at dawn on Saturday.

Air-traffic controllers lost contact with the plane at a spot over the Caribbean some 10 nautical miles from Los Roques, Venezuelan Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol said.

He added that the group had spent the holidays on that archipelago, a federal dependency of Venezuela made up of a series of islands, cays and islets. EFE